Communication from the commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee: Implementing the partnership for growth and jobs: Making Europe a pole of excellence: On corporate social responsibility.
Brussels, 22.3.2006
COM(2006) 136 final

The Commission wishes to give greater political visibility to CSR, to acknowledge what European enterprises already do in this field and to encourage them to do more. Because CSR is fundamentally about voluntary business behaviour, an approach involving additional obligations and administrative requirements for business risks being counter-productive and would be contrary to the principles of better regulation.

Acknowledging that enterprises are the primary actors in CSR, the Commission has decided that it can best achieve its objectives by working more closely with European business, and therefore announces backing for the launch of a European Alliance on CSR, a concept drawn up on the basis of contributions from business active in the promotion of CSR.

The Alliance is an open alliance of European enterprises, for which enterprises of all sizes are invited to express their support. It is a political umbrella for new or existing CSR initiatives by large companies, SMEs and their stakeholders. It is not a legal instrument and is not to be signed by enterprises, the Commission or any public authority. It is a political process to increase the uptake of CSR amongst European enterprises. Backing for the new Alliance should be understood as a key component of a wider partnership that the Commission wishes to pursue with all stakeholders involved in CSR.

In presenting this Communication, the Commission draws on several years of public debate and consultation with all stakeholders, most particularly in the context of the European Multistakeholder Forum on CSR, which presented its final report in 2004. The Commission continues to attach utmost importance to dialogue with and between all stakeholders, and proposes to re-convene meetings of the Multistakeholder Forum at regular intervals with a view to continually reviewing progress on CSR in the EU.

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